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KPMG South Africa to donate Gupta fees

KPMG South Africa is distributing the R47m ($3.4m) it received in fees from Gupta-related entities to civil society organisations promoting ethical leadership and accountable governance, and to non-profit organisations in the education sector.

The firm already donated R23m of this sum in February to Democracy Works foundation, the Social Justice Initiative, and the National Business Initiative.

Over the past year or so, KPMG South Africa has found itself in hot water over work it conducted for the controversial Gupta family which, among other controversies, led it to be banned from public sector auditing and a loss of staff and high-profile clients.

KPMG South Africa’s executive chairman Wiseman Nkuhlu said: “The funding is an important step in ensuring redress from the actions of the past.”

“We appreciate the inputs that the civil society organisations have made into this process, and the broader role they are playing in addressing corruption in business and society.”

The remaining R24m is currently in the process of being distributed to non-profit organisations working in the education sector and the firm has shortlisted 52 of over a 1,000 applications.

The funding is being targeted at organisations working in areas such as literacy, early childhood development and cradle-to-career programmes, programmes tackling systematic issues in the education sector, as well as those that ensure the well-being of learners.

The distribution process is being overseen by an Independent Evaluation Committee which assessed the applications and is currently conducting due diligence on the shortlisted organisations. This process should be completed by December 2018.

Following the range of scandals, the firm has been working to rebuild its reputation in the country. In June it announced that it was reshaping its business and seeking more support from the international network.

Most recently, the firm appointed Ignatius Sehoole as its new CEO following the departure of Nhlamulo Dlomu, who left in October for a position working with KPMG’s global chairman and the global management team on organisational culture change and ethical leadership.

At the time of Dlomu’s departure, KPMG South Africa’s board said that it would be employing its next CEO from outside of the firm in an effort to rebuild trust.

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